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I want to replace my twice-broken flipper with a dental implant

Posted by AllSmiles

Although I thought it was best to get a partial denture instead of a dental implant, I am disappointed with my dentist. I paid my dentist to extract my tooth and give me a partial denture. After I went for the appointment, he said he changed his mind and wanted to try a root canal instead. But that did not work, so I needed an extraction anyway. I wore a temporary flipper partial, and it broke twice. My dentist is charging me for the root canal, extraction, and temporary flippers. He claims that I am at fault for breaking the flippers, but I know they were cheap. I want a refund and dental implants. But I do not understand the strategy for getting my lying dentist to cooperate. Before I ask for my dental records and switch to a new dentist, can you help? – Thank you. Kraig from PA


We are sorry to hear about the nightmare with your dentist. We recommend that you speak candidly with your dentist and list your concerns about what your dentist said he would do versus what happened.

Your dentist cannot charge you for two broken dental flippers and falsely claim that you are at fault, so don’t worry about that.

When you speak to your dentist, explain what action you will take if you do not get a refund:

  • Contact your insurance company (if applicable) – Your dental insurance company wants to know if a dentist charges them for work the dentist did not complete. But they also want to know if an in-network provider is dishonest.
  • Report the issue to the state dental board – Although the state dental board might not penalize your dentist, they will contact him to investigate the matter. Your dentist does not want to build a negative reputation with the state dental board.
  • Hire an attorney – A dental malpractice attorney will be happy to contact your dentist, request a refund, and explain the what will happen if your dentist fails to cooperate.
  • Leave negative online reviews – Particularly, dentists who have positive online reviews are concerned about their reputation. Many patients read reviews before choosing a new dentist. So your dentist might respond to your promise to write detailed negative reviews.

Finding a Dentist for Implants

Diagram of three phases of a dental implant: separate compoonent, implant screw in the bone, and the crown attached
Select your implant dentist carefully

Look for a dentist who is skilled in implant placement, restoration, or both. And ensure the dentist has advanced cosmetic dentistry training. Some dentists refer patients to an oral surgeon or periodontist for implant surgery. After a healing period, the dentist will restore your implant with a natural-looking crown. But the dentist must be skilled in cosmetic dentistry to match the crown to your natural teeth. Schedule a consultation with two dentists before you choose a provider so you can discuss your options.

Best wishes for a speedy resolution.

Thomas J. Goebel, DDS of Moline, IL, sponsors this post.